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Stoops Ferry P&LE RR Christmas Mail - 1907.jpg

P&LE Railroad

Coraopolis first appeared on the map as Middletown, a station on the P&LE Railroad. Located on the Ohio River between McKees Rocks and Monaca, Coraopolis has long-running ties with Montour Railroad, P&LE Railroad, and CSX.  Montour Railroad maintained a hub with shops to work on the engines and cars. The historic Coraopolis Train Station, built by H.H. Richardson, stands as a testament to Coraopolis' proud railroad history.

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad

 

  • Dates of Operation: 1875–1993
  • Mid-1870s – “By the mid 1870’s each of these valleys had a railroad on one side or the other, leaving unoccupied, however, most of the south bank of the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and the mouth of the Beaver River. It was here that promoters of the P&LE planned to locate the principal segment of their proposed line between Pittsburgh and Youngstown.” (Alfred E. Perlman, Pittsburgh and the P&LE, 1963, pg10)
  • May 1877 – “Token construction of the main line, running 65 rail miles on easy grades along the Ohio, Beaver and Mahoning river valleys, was started inauspiciously in May 1877.” (Alfred E. Perlman, Pittsburgh and the P&LE, 1963, pg13)
  • September 26, 1877 – “Construction started in earnest, however, in the fall of 1877 under a contract entered into on September 26 with B.J. McGrann, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.” (Alfred E. Perlman, Pittsburgh and the P&LE, 1963, pg13)
  • PLERR built through Coraopolis in 1878 (Maurey, Edward B., "Where the West Began: A Story of Coraopolis and The Ohio Valley," Coraopolis: Press of Record Publishing Company, 1930.)
  • February 10, 1879 – The entire Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad is opened from Pittsburgh, PA to Haselton, OH. [Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Historical Society website, www.plerrhs.org / History of The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad and its predecessors from the 1913 Annual Report of The New York Central Railroad System, http://www.plerrhs.org/society/history.shtml]
  • February 12, 1879 – “…the main line was constructed and went into operation on February 12, 1879. The first train took 14 hours to get to Youngstown, but the first express, which followed about two weeks later, took only four hours to cover the same distance.” (Alfred E. Perlman, Pittsburgh and the P&LE, 1963, pg13)
  • February 24, 1879 – first passenger train passes over the tracks (PPG 25 Feb 1879) “Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad formally opened for passenger traffic. The freight dept has been in operation for some time.” ... “There was considerable excitement at all the way stations. The people had come in from the country round about to see the first train.  In many instances they came by the sled loads. The largest crowds on the Southern Division were at Montour Junction, Middletown, Shousetown, and Phillipsburg. All seemed to feel that a new era had dawned upon their quiet section and they had been freed from prison. The old men and boys waved their hats and cheered; while the ladies, bless ‘em, waved handkerchiefs, towels, table-cloths, and anything they could lay their hand son.  Many of the young gents displayed their gallantry by taking their sisters, or some other fellow’s sister – most likely the latter – for a ride to the next station.  It is said there were some old residenters out who saw a train of cars for the first time.” (PPG 25 Feb 1879)
  • "The company came under more formal control in the 1887 by the New York Central Railroad. Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway's president, John Newell, took over as president of the P&LE in 1887. Under Newell, Reed and Colonel Schoonmaker; the P&LE would become the "Little Giant". From 1887 to 1927, the P&LE would become a heavy duty railroad, with double track all the way from Pittsburgh to Youngstown. The P&LE operated as an independent subsidiary, even after New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad merged to form Penn Central." - Wikipedia article
  • In 1992, P&LE Railroad was taken over by CSX Transportation

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